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Love Lab

When you’ve accidentally been the ‘other woman’

We’ve all been there – fallen for someone who managed to turn our world upside down and question everything we thought we knew about love.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? When you finally find that connection with someone that’s so deep rooted you wonder how you ever managed to survive without them for so long.
That’s what it was like for me, with him.

He was smart, courageous, brave and funny. He had an intellect I could keep up with, a body that was aesthetically pleasing and a thirst for adventure. He was my friend. A good friend. We clicked instantly. I introduced myself as an asexual – it’s one of the things that I tend to tell people I feel comfortable around, people I feel I can trust. His intelligence and worldly knowledge made it seem as though he understood what being asexual meant – that in order for me to feel physically attracted to someone there would have to be that emotional connection there. In order for anything physical to happen, I would have to be in love. It’s not just a case of ‘self respect’, my body repulses at the thought of physical interloping with no feeling of genuine love and affection there.

He had a child, with someone else. He used to speak of her with such a poisonous tongue. He appeared resentful of a lot of things, as though he was bitter at the fact he hadn’t accomplished the things he wanted to do in life. Though he only had himself to blame for this due to years of misadventures in his youth and hopeless misconceptions of what the world should owe him.

As a friend I listened, I cared, I offered advice.
Talk to her, I said, tell her how you’re feeling.
Make time for each other, I preached, as more than just parents.
Pursue your hobbies, I advised, but still be responsible.
Stop going the pub, I suggested, avoiding going home solves nothing.

There were many things I would say to help ease the moods that were thrown at me. I care too much. I believe too much in karma – I try to help in a way that I’d be grateful of myself.

As time went by, they split up. It was apparently inevitable. They’d grown apart and were mere teenagers when they met; the adults they’d become conflicted too much. Then came the brick. It hit out of nowhere. I was hanging with him in a museum, glad I had a friend who could appreciate history in the way in which I can… Then he told me, told me he had feelings for me. Okay, is all I could think to say, I don’t do drama.

I tried my best to be a mate, listened when needed, talked when required. Eventually he told me he was in love with me. Like the flu, he said, it’s never hit like this before. I was going through my own breakup and the heartbreak was still raw. I felt emotionally drained and worthless. And, like the cliché it is, he was able to remedy that, boosted me up, lifted my spirits. Made me feel like I matter.

As is inevitable in situations like this, those feelings he had for me were soon returned. A natural progression into a relationship soon developed. I was happy. Alive. Enlightened. There was never a dull where to order nolvadex online moment. Adventures, intellectual stimulation, new experiences – all the markings of something with a lot of passion and determination. Or so I thought.

I was naive. Looking back now, I realise that. I was floating around in my own little bubble of ecstasy, oblivious to the reality of what was really happening. For someone so intelligent, I had been blinded. Dulled down by too much love and too much trust in another person. There a lot of things that I could write about. There was a lot of lying, manipulation, confusion and downright using on his part.

Another brick battered at me, this time right through the heart. I found myself in a situation I thought I’d never ever find myself in. After months of being convinced I was paranoid for feeling doubt, I discovered that he was always with that woman. They’d never really broken up. I was essentially an upgrade of a younger model that he wanted to toy with in order to distract himself from the pressures of a mature responsibility.

Then came the clincher; she was pregnant. Was. Upon discovering he had been seeing me, the stress from it had caused a miscarriage. I was lashed out at and blamed.
I blamed myself for a while too. Until quite recently actually. I was snapped at and told I shouldn’t have been as stupid to have trusted him. But what is love with no trust? He told me I was a silly little girl who deserved to get hurt for being so gullible. To this day, I feel as though I have blood on my hands and it’s a battle not to hate myself.

So how do you get to survive having been ‘the other woman’? How do you manage the guilt, the self-hatred and resentment for your own heart? I have no idea. All I know is that there are lessons to be learned here, as well as fears to be overcome:

  • Trust your gut
  • Realise your own potential without relying on someone else to ‘save’ you
  • The best relationships are when someone complements you, not completes you
  • Learn to heal, take your time
  • Be wary but don’t give up on trust
  • Love yourself, you are a beautiful person
  • You can’t undo what  has been done, but you can do your best to prevent it happening again
  • Never be ashamed, just take your mistakes into your character and adapt into a stronger person
  • Use your voice and never let anyone manipulate it out of you

Of course, these lessons are lessons I struggle to adhere to now, despite my stubborn attitude and perseverance.

Obviously there are fears in regards to falling in love and ever thoroughly trusting again. It’s a lot of hard work to not self-sabotage and wreck anything good that comes along the way. But on the flip side, anyone who cares for me will understand that and be patient with me. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not all negative. Despite having the guilt of what happened cause me to do reckless things out of a great distaste for myself, I’ve come out of it the other side. I’m slowly learning that I am worth something.

I am beautiful. I am strong. I am worth it.

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